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November 1952

EMOTIONAL ISSUES RELATED TO CERTAIN CASES OF BLEPHAROSPASM AND FACIAL TICS

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE

From the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, The Johns Hopkins University.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1952;68(5):620-628. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1952.02320230046005

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Abstract

THE ETIOLOGY of many neurologic symptoms is still obscure and effective treatment elusive. New and larger frameworks for consideration of these problems are needed. I have attempted in small groups of patients to investigate emotional factors, either as accentuating or being related in some causal way to certain neurologic illnesses, such as narcolepsy and multiple sclerosis. This application of psychiatric thinking in the field of neurology meets considerable prejudice. It should be possible to use this method with an open mind, gradually collecting data in an attempt to learn whether this approach is valid or useful. No general conclusions can be derived from a small series of patients.

Blepharospasm and facial tics are flamboyant, attention-attracting abnormalities, which cannot easily be concealed. In an attempt to use psychotherapy in a small number of patients with such disorders, it appeared that certain of the patients were concerned with similar problems in interpersonal

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